Grade 1 'Lonely Security' team helps support classmates in need
Developing and maintaining a sense of community and belonging is an ongoing focus of the Personal and Social Education programme in the Infant School. On occasion children can feel isolated and find themselves with no one to play with. Some of the Grade 1 children noticed that this was happening and took action.
During their unit of study on Communities earlier this year, some students in Sally Nicholas’ Grade 1 class (1SNi) observed that some of their classmates appeared to be lonely at break times. They wanted to help these students. To determine how to do so, a major class inquiry unfolded. Students surveyed the children in the Infant School and analysed their data to determine whether there was a need to address the issue of loneliness. The data indicated ‘yes,’ so they moved forward with their ‘Lonely Security’ project.
The Lonely Security team aimed to help students in need during their playtime. To further the project, some of the children were interested in designing badges for the Lonely Security. The children in this group researched symbols and their importance and meaning to people within our community. They interviewed people in our school community, asking them, “If you created a symbol to represent you, what would it look like and what do the different parts mean?”
Through their interviews, they collected feedback such as:
“My symbol is a rainbow heart because I believe that all people should be included and loved and accepted for who they are.’’
“A sailing boat because it means I can be free to travel and go with the tide.”
These examples helped the children to understand that symbols held meaning and that their choice of design was important. A variety of ideas emerged, for example:
“I had lots of ideas for the badges. I thought we could do half a smiley face and half a sad face and then we could draw an arrow to the happy face."
Ultimately, the students selected the star as the main symbol for their badges because it is commonly associated with officers.
Other students involved themselves in Lonely Security by making posters to advertise the project. They had to make sure the images and text were fairly self-explanatory given the wide range of reading levels in the Infant School. Yet another group made notebooks which held ideas for games to suggest to the children who are lonely. They also created notebooks to record their observations while on 'duty’, and planned their next steps.
An important next step was to present to the Infant children during assembly, with their crafted scripts. This helped to get the word out. The children then took to the playground, badges on, to assist those in need of a helping hand.
‘Lonely Security’ is having great success and is now in its second term of operation. The Lonely Security has noticed a positive impact and they are seeing fewer students alone at break and play times.
It's been a powerful learning experience as the project gave the students an authentic lens which drove their own inquiry and incorporated literacy, mathematics, and design technology. Keep an eye out for these officers at a playground near you!